Being There

Amplifying the voices of young people to address stigma and promote mental health and help seeking

Our Vision

Who do young people contact first when they face mental health challenges and how do they support each other? We partnered with mental health charity batyr, and clinical researcher Dr Erin Dolan to examine the role of friendships in mental health care and how young people support each other when facing mental health challenges. The study also examines the experiences of friends who provide support by focusing on how they perform this support, what resources young supporters use and have access to, what constrains this support and what they might need continue supporting their friends and peers.

Our Project Plan

This research was conducted using a mixed methods approach to collect the relevant data, including a national survey, focus groups with young people, consultations with mental health experts and service providers. We ran five focus groups with 34 young people, as well as a national survey (169 responses) with young people in Australia aged 16– 25 years old. This research took place following COVID isolation measures in Australia.

The use of mixed methods results in a greater breadth and depth to the research that would not be accessible by just one method. Taken together, the data provides a fuller picture and allows us to validate the findings and enhance the credibility of research findings.

What Impact will this research have?

The Being There project aims to amplify the voices of young people and to help parents, carers and health professionals better understand the needs of young people and the ways they express and communicate their concerns. While previous research has focused on the importance of formal mental health support, this report documents and showcases the critical role of young people in providing mental health care and offers recommendations to ensure they have access to the resources they need for their care practices.


The project was also recently covered by the Conversation.

You may also be interested in the 'What works for young people when supporting friends' resource.

Collaboration team

This project is a collaboration between the Young and Resilient Research Centre and Batyr. We’d like to thank everyone who supported this project in many varied ways:

Internal collaborators
External collaborators
Project Support
Dr Kelly Allott, Orygen; Eoin Killackey, Orygen; Leigh Kennedy from Neami National; Dr Natalie Ann Hendry; Ruth Magnusson; Julie Chochovski; Beyond Blue; Orygen; Raise Foundation; ReachOut; Suicide Prevention Australia; Coalition Action for Preventive Mental Health; Mariwala Health Initiative; Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy; and Allison Yeatman.


This project is funded by Western Sydney University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship program, and batyr.



March– November 2022

Contact: If you would like to get in contact with the Being Heard team, please email Dr Benjamin Hanckel at: